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Xi'an Ancient City Wall

Xi'an Ancient City Wall, Xian attraction

Brief Introduction
As one of the UNESCO's world Heritage Site, Xi'an Ancient City Wall was built in the 14th century, under the regime of Emperor Zhuyuanzhang in Ming dynasty, had the function of protecting the cities or towns as military defense systems in ancient China. Xi'an Ancient City Wall is one of the oldest, largest and best preserved Chinese city walls, exhibits the "complete features of the rampart architecture of feudal society". Xi'an City Wall is a heritage National Historical and Cultural Town since 1961, it is about 14km in length, 12meters in height. The current city wall is an enhancement of the old Tang Dynasty structure, as a result of the emperor's wall building campaign.

Now, Ancient City Wall is one of the top attractions in Xi'an city. It takes around half day to walk around, cycling is a good choice for visitors go around and appreciate the construction in Ancient China.


History of the Ancient City Wall
Ancient City Wall was built in 14 centuries by Zhuyuanzhang, who is the first Emoeror of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Once Zhu Sheng, a recluse advised Zhu yuanzhang to build a f high wall and store enough food so that he could unify the other states and establish his own country. After following what the recluse said, Zhu yuanzhang built the wall, unified the country and established the Ming dynasty. After that, he enlarged the south and west walls on the base of the wall of Tang Dynasty and built the wall around the country, Xi'an Ancient City Wall was built at this time, took right-year period. 

In 1926, the wall was attacked with bombs by enemy forces resulting in serious structural damage, but the city within the wall was not affected. During the Second World War, when the Japanese carried out air bombings from 1937 to 1940, the residents built around 1,000 bunkers, as anti-aircraft shelters within the wide base (thickness of more than 15 metres (49 ft)) of the wall. A few escape openings were also made through the wall as passageways.


In 2008, Xi'an Ancient City Wall listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1961, Xi'an Ancient City Wall was approved as a heritage site as a National Historical and Cultural Town.

Now, Xian Ancient City Wall is the largest and best preserved existing ancient city wall in China and described it as "a wall that has withstood war and famine and the rise and fall of dynasties" by Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States.

What to see in Ancient City Wall

The structure of the Ancient City Wall
The wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom. It covers 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) in length with a deep moat surrounding it. It has four gates at south, north, east and west, outside each gate, there is a battlement. Each gate has 3 buildings: the gate, the embrasure watchtower and the inner building. Every 120 meters, there is a gate which extends out from the main wall, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up. Each gate has a watchtower, it has 4 layers of windows, and each window has 12 holes, so that the soldiers could protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. Besides, there is only a short distance between gates that soldiers can shoot the enemy who want to attack the city within the range of an narrow shoot from either side. On the outer side of the city wall, there are many battlements where the soldiers can outlook and shoot at the enemy. On the inner side, parapets were built to protect the soldiers from falling off.

Xian_Attractions_Xian_Ancient_city_Wall2.jpgThe narrow tower and the main tower are connected by tunnels, in which soldiers could be stationed. From the tunnels there are also horse passages leading to the top of the wall. There are gradually ascending steps, made so that it was easy for war horses to ascend and descend. There are all together 11 horse passages around the city.

Xian City Wall International Marathon
The Marathon is held in the first Sunday of November each year, which is a kind of special tourism spot. The competition has attracted a total of more than 4,000 foreign athletes from over 50 countries to participate in the competition since 1993. 

Today, the tournament has been named the State Sports General Administration and the National Tourism Administration as a national sports tourism gold project, and has a certain amount of international influence.

How to get there
Metro Routes: No.2 and get off at Yongningmen Station.
Bus Routes:  No. 5, 18, 215, 603 and 611 etc. to get to.

Travel Guide
Riding a bike to visit the Xian city wall is highly favored by many visitors and bikes could be rented on the wall. It usually charges about 40yuan for riding 100 minutes.
Admission Fee: 40RMB
Opening Time:
                    South Gate: 08:00-21:00.
                    Wenchang Gate, Heping Gate, East Gate, West Gate, North Gate: 08:00-20:00.
                    Shangde Gate, Wumu Gate (aka Xiaonan Gate): 08:00-18:00.
Tel: 029-87218646

Tour Ancient City Wall of Xi'an with Xian Priavte Tour
All the following tours are recommended by 98% of our clients. They are private tours with an English-seapking local guide, a private vehicle and experienced local driver. Usually the tour service starts from Xian hotel/Xian train station/Xian aiport and finishes at the moment you say goodbye to your guide at the Xian hotel/Xian train station/Xian airport.


If the above tours are not on your list, creat your own Xian tour including Xian Ancient City Wall following our suggestions. Based in Xi'an and focused on Xi'an, we are a local team to show you the historic Xi'an, we can customize private tours, tour itinerary and tour packages to cater to the needs of individual tourists as well as small group tours including families, friends and business colleagues. Please refer to Xian tours for more Xian tour packages or send us your inquiry by email.

Mosted Asked Questions about Xi'an Ancient City Wall

1. I will be at Xian city in the late afternoon, is it possible to visit the Xian Ancient City Walll in the evening?

Yes, it is possible to visit Xian Ancient City at night. When you visit the city wall during the evening, you can enjoy the charming night view of Xian city. The best place around the city wall for the night scenery is Southern Gate, with lots of light and some performance there.

2. Where can i rent bike at Xian Ancient City Wall? What is the cost of bike rental?

There are many bike rental stations along the city wall, there will be at least one place to rent at each gate. You should remeber that you need to return the bike to the same place (where you rent). When you rent a bike, the deposit is required, CNY200 per bike; It charges CNY45/90 mins for single bike, CNY90/90 mins for a tandem bike. You should keep the receipt as it would be a voucher for your refund of the deposit. 

3. How long does it take to visit the Xian City Wall?

The total length of Xian Ancient City Wall is about 14KM. Normally, it takes around 3 hours to visit the whole part of Xian city wall by walking. It will take about 1.5 hours if you rent a bike or take the battery cart. It might be take long to visit the Xian city wall if you like photography or walk at a leisure pace.

4. What is the best way to visit Xian Ancient Wall? By walking around or renting a bike?

There are several ways to visit the ancient city wall, such as walk, cycling and Battery Cart. Biking is the ideal option for visitor to visit the Ancient City Wall and it is the most popular activity, it takes around 1 hour to visit the whole part of city wall. If you travel with seniors or want to travel in a leisure pace, walking is highly recommended. You could sight-see the city wall on your own pace to discover every antique brick or tower. You do not have to cover the whole City Wall for a round way, but hike a short part of it and get down the wall from any nearest gate. Battery Cart Ride is also available, it is energy-saving and enable you to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Please kindly note that children under 12 years old, seniors over 60 years old are not allowed to rent bike there.

5. Is it expensive to visit the Ancient City Wall in Xian? How much does it cost?

It's not expensive to visit the Xian Ancient City Wall, the entrance fee is CNY54, half price for children between 120cm-140cm, free for children under 1.2 m and for people over 70 years old. There will be extra cost if you take battery cart or rent the bike at Ancient City Wall, the battert cart costs CNY120 for the whole journey and CNY30 per stop; There are different charges for bike, the cost is depening how long that you rent.

6. How can i get to Xian Ancient City Wall from Xian North Railway Station? I will take high speed train from Beijing.

If you arrive at Xian North Railway Station, you can take Xian metro line 2 from Xian north railway station and get off at Yongningmen Station to go up the City Wall from the South Gate. Or get off at Anyuanmen Station to go up from the North Gate; 2) Take city taxi or book a private transfer from train station; 3) You can book a private pick up service from train station if you have lots of luggage.

7. What is the best season to visit the Xian Ancient City Wall?

You can travel to Xian and visit the Ancient City Wall all year round, Spring & Autumn are the best. If you travel in summer, we recommend you take tour to Xian ancient wall in the morning or after sunset because it is quite hot at noon. If you travel in winter, please wear the thick clothers, gloves scarf and winter hat since it will be very cold on the wall, you can enjoy different scenery during the snow days.

8. Do you offer any half day Xian Ancient City Wall Tours?

Yes, we offer various Xian Tours including Half Day Xian Ancient City Wall Tour, you can choose morning and afternoon departure to meet your own schedule. You will have you own private guide to collect you from your downtown hotel or Xian train station, walk around the ancient city wall to visit China's most integrated and best-preserved city wall, to see locals enjoying tai chi or exercise in the City Wall Park, you will have the bike experience along the wall itself. The half day tour package includes the bike rental, priavte tour guide and comfortable vehicle, entrance fees for the wall, but meals and other personal expense are not included.

9. What are the famous attractions nearby the Xian Ancient City Wall?

As Xian Ancient City Wall is located in the city center of Xian, there are several famous attractions nearby should be visited when you take tour to Xian Ancient City Wall, such as Muslim Quarter where where you can find local food and snacks and to great souvenir stalls; Drum &Bell Tower, symbols of the city's rich past and are some of the largest and best-preserved of their kind in China.

10. Is it easy to go around the Xian Ancient City Wall on my own?

Yes, it is also easy for you to go around the wall, you can find the way easily because there are many signs in English and other language, it has a clear sign for the directions, introduction of the history in chinese & english versions. We recommend you book a Xian tour to visit the Xian Ancient City Wall and surroundings, you can get a deeper impression about Xian city, know about the local culture & lifestyle from your personal tour guide.

11. What are the performances available at the south gate of Xian Ancient city wall? Do you have the timing about them?

There are various performances at the south gate with following timings: Opening Ceremony at South Gate Square: 09.00 am; Living Statue Performance: 10.45 am, 07.45 pm; Warrior Parade Performance: 11.00 am, 11.40 am, 04.20 pm, 04.50 pm, 06.00 pm; Relieving Guard Ceremony: 09.30 am, 03.30 pm, 06.40 pm; War Drum and Military Formation: 10.30 am, 07.30 pm; Military Formation Performance: 05.30 pm.

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